Wikipedia:Reference desk/Computing

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September 14[edit]

How to disable "Top results" from Microsoft Mail search results?[edit]

Is there is a way to disable "Top results" from Mail (Microsoft's default mail client in Windows 10)? I already figured out how to do this with Outlook. Now I want to do it with Mail. Can anyone help me please? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 10:25, 14 September 2021 (UTC)

@Hackmuss I don't think there is a way. It's a basic mail client that is very limited in customisation compared to Outlook.

Google Play Services Keeps Downloading Updates[edit]

am on Android phone, and prepaid data..can't access internet..Google Play Services keeps downloading updates, is consuming all my i have a virus?.its happened three times today..what should I do?. Gfigs (talk) 21:10, 14 September 2021 (UTC)

@Gfigs: I found this: [1]. It looks like you can choose to do updates only when on WiFi, or disable auto updates completely. RudolfRed (talk) 22:35, 14 September 2021 (UTC)
thanks, will try this.. Gfigs (talk) 03:44, 15 September 2021 (UTC)
@RudolfRed: the downloads continue with auto updates disabled..why is this? Gfigs (talk) 16:55, 15 September 2021 (UTC)
will try to also disable background data on the Google Play services and Download managers, although this will probably interfere with downloading from Play Store?.Gfigs (talk) 21:37, 15 September 2021 (UTC)
I think Google Play Store has been disabled now, in order to try stop automated downloads, and reduce data costs. cannot download apps or games..Gfigs (talk) 02:52, 16 September 2021 (UTC)
cannot access ISP to buy data, after certain hour..system was busy or overloaded for 3 hours..xx Gfigs (talk) 02:57, 16 September 2021 (UTC)
am disabled (banned) on Facebook..would appreciate the advice.. Gfigs (talk) 03:10, 16 September 2021 (UTC)
I can't help you further. Perhaps you can find a forum more specific to Google Play issues. RudolfRed (talk) 16:59, 16 September 2021 (UTC)
thank you..see here.. Gfigs (talk) 22:08, 16 September 2021 (UTC)
it maybe possible to stop automated downloads by deactivating background data on Google Play Store, Google Play Services, Download Managers & Downloads apps, with above settings..however, Google Play store requires background data in order to download content..and won't be possible to stop automated updates whilst in Google Play Store..Gfigs (talk) 22:14, 16 September 2021 (UTC)
only possible solution, seems to be paying for more internet, or connecting to free wifi..xx Gfigs (talk) 22:25, 16 September 2021 (UTC)
logging off internet for now, due to Google Play automated downloads, that are consuming all data.xx Gfigs (talk) 04:03, 18 September 2021 (UTC)
downloads have stopped temporarily now?.xx Gfigs (talk) 08:05, 19 September 2021 (UTC)

September 15[edit]

Customizing Firefox (done)[edit]

I was quite unhappy with the new Firefox Proton design, so I made a CSS file and copied the following code from a website. However, I don't know what to do to (1) slightly reduce the tab height, (2) get back tab borders for inactive tabs and (3) remove the small gaps between tabs. How exactly do I have to change the following code to do so (ideally, for convenience, please just complete the code accordingly)? Thanks in advance for any support!--Hildeoc (talk) 14:01, 15 September 2021 (UTC)

/*** Tighten up drop-down/context/popup menu spacing (8 Sep 2021) ***/

menupopup:not(.in-menulist) > menuitem, 
menupopup:not(.in-menulist) > menu {
  padding-block: 2px !important; /* reduce to 3px, 2px, 1px or 0px as needed */ 
  min-height: unset !important; /* v92.0 - for padding below 4px */
:root {
  --arrowpanel-menuitem-padding: 4px 8px !important;

/*** Proton Tabs Tweaks ***/

/* Adjust tab corner shape, optionally remove space below tabs */

#tabbrowser-tabs {
    --user-tab-rounding: 6px;

.tab-background {
    border-radius: var(--user-tab-rounding) var(--user-tab-rounding) 0px 0px !important;
    margin-block: 1px 0 !important;
#scrollbutton-up, #scrollbutton-down { /* 6/10/2021 */
    border-top-width: 1px !important;
    border-bottom-width: 0 !important;
/* Container color bar visibility */
.tabbrowser-tab[usercontextid] > .tab-stack > .tab-background > .tab-context-line {
    margin: 0px max(calc(var(--user-tab-rounding) - 3px), 0px) !important;
The Firefox-UI-Fix project seems to do this. — LauritzT (talk) 15:11, 15 September 2021 (UTC)
@LauritzT: Thanks. I tried this but the design didn't satisfy me either, and it actually didn't produce the changes mentioned above. I'm fine with the output for the settings of the above CSS, and would just like to make the three mentioned adjustments.--Hildeoc (talk) 15:39, 15 September 2021 (UTC)

Note: I have by now resolved the issue via Mozilla Support.--Hildeoc (talk) 19:12, 15 September 2021 (UTC)

September 16[edit]

Edit article title.[edit]

I have edited the text of the article St Ann's Riots, correcting each instance of "St Ann's" to "St Anns", but how to I correct the article title? Hayttom (talk) 03:20, 16 September 2021 (UTC)

@Hayttom: Why have you made that change? as far as I can see "St Ann's" is correct. See, for example, this article. DuncanHill (talk) 03:24, 16 September 2021 (UTC)
St Ann's, Nottingham is correct. I have reverted the change. See Wikipedia:Moving a page for how to change article titles but base it on published sources and don't do it here. If you really insist on an unsourced spelling going against reliable sources then use Wikipedia:Requested moves. PrimeHunter (talk) 03:40, 16 September 2021 (UTC)
I stand corrected, and thanks to PrimeHunter (talk), so does the article. I will inform the owner of the external source I was using. Hayttom (talk) 04:28, 16 September 2021 (UTC)

Looking for old news: someone was fired for identifying a security flaw[edit]

Some years ago, probably in the ’90s–’00s, I read about someone who found a security flaw in an online system that the company he worked for was using, and when he pointed it out to his superiors, it didn’t go well. As I recall it, each employee was given a unique link with a numerical identifier in the URL, except this guy discovered that these numbers were sequential—change the 8 to a 9 and you’re looking at someone else’s secure information, employee ID, social security number, stuff like that. This guy had another job in IT security, so he brought the issue to his boss and offered to remedy it. As I recall, they fired him, thinking he was trying to blackmail them rather than fix an obvious problem.

I’m not sure where I read about this and don’t recall any names, and I’m positive I have some of the details wrong. But does this sound familiar to anyone, or can someone track it down? I’d love to know the full story.

Thanks in advance! — (talk) 22:15, 16 September 2021 (UTC)

I forwarded this question to Peter G. Neumann and he kindly replied (quoted by permission) with the following excerpts from this page. However, while all of them show people suffering from no good deed going unpunished, none of them seem to exactly match the original poster's description of the case.
  • Edward F. Wilson, whistleblowing aerospace SW Quality Assurer fired life threatened (ACM Software Engineering Notes 11 3)
  • Roger Boisjoly fired after reporting O-ring problem that led to loss of the Challenger. (RISKS-5.78, 5.80, and 12.40)
  • Ted Postol harassed after report downgrading Patriot defense shortcomings: Iraqi Scud hit Dhahran barracks (28 dead, 98 wounded); not detected by Patriot defenses; clock drifted .36 sec. in 4-day continuous siege, due to SW flaw, preventing real-time tracking. Spec called for aircraft speeds, not mach 6, only 14-hour continuous performance, not 100. Patched SW arrived via air 1 day later (S 16 3; AWST 10Jun91 p.25-26); Shutdown and reboot might have averted Scud disaster (S 16 4) Patriot missiles misled by `accidental' decoys; T.A. Postol report (S 17 2); summary of clock drift, etc. GAO/IMTEC-92-26, February 1992 (S 17 2); reprisals against Postol for his whistleblowing (R 13 32, S 17 2); Army downgrades success to about 10% rather than 80% [4 out of 47 hits] (R 13 37, S 17 2, 17 3); A retrospective analysis (in Italian) by Diego Latella (R 24 41, S 31 6:26)
  • Royal Navy battle software unsafe; whistle-blower fired (RISKS-23.56)
And he added:
  • Snowden, for a rather different interpretation of "fired" --> exiled!!!
The notation "RISKS-5.78" refers to the Risks Digest, archived here by volume and issue number. I suspect that "R 13 32" has a similar meaning and "S 17 2" refers again to Software Engineering Notes; "AWST" would be Aviation Week & Space Technology. -- (talk) 21:00, 17 September 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, none of these are the accidentally-compromised-privacy I was trying to track down. But I appreciate the effort! — (talk) 04:15, 19 September 2021 (UTC)

September 17[edit]

MacOS, Disk Utility, encryption[edit]

In the past few days I updated MacOS to current, and bought another external backup disk, a Seagate such as I have used before. These two events have no obvious significant causal relation, but jointly they muddle the causality of an unpleasant surprise:

I go to Disk Utility to format the new disk, intending to make it "Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted)" like the others. (I rotate at least three backup disks, keeping one elsewhere.) I find that encryption is not on the menu – though it seems that I could reformat an already encrypted volume to "APFS (Encrypted)".

Disk Utility also does not allow me to partition the new disk.

Is there something strange about the disk, or has Apple turned against encryption, or what? —Tamfang (talk) 03:29, 17 September 2021 (UTC)

Download wikipedia database in txt format[edit]

Hello, esteemed wikipedia team.

I would like to clarify some things related to loading the database in different languages. I have already read many articles about wikipedia dumps, but they are all offered in XML and SQL format, while I need pure text. On top of that, the final unpacked versions weigh over a terabyte. My question is: can I find a source where I can download all wiki-articles in plain txt, so that the final size does not exceed 100GB per language? Thanks infinitely in advance for the answer. (talk) 05:37, 17 September 2021 (UTC)

For English, French, German and Portuguese you can download separate dumps, which do not exceed 20 GB. See meta:Data dump torrents.  --Lambiam 09:23, 17 September 2021 (UTC)

Operation not permitted[edit]

# ls -l ~/Library | grep -w Safari
drwxr-xr-x    39 lambiam  staff   1248 Sep 17 01:57 Safari
# ls -l ~/Library/Safari
ls: Safari: Operation not permitted

Why? (macOS Mojave)  --Lambiam 09:52, 17 September 2021 (UTC)

It is most likely System Integrity Protection, very similar to SELinux. You have to either turn off SIP or specifically enable full drive access to the terminal. (talk) 13:44, 17 September 2021 (UTC)
Thanks, that must be it. I think it is a bit silly root is not even allowed to see the names of the files in the folder, even though I can access and open them without problem using the Finder.  --Lambiam 09:51, 18 September 2021 (UTC)

September 18[edit]

Printer problem[edit]

My HP Laserjet M1005 MFP has some problem. When I give a print command from PC then the page ink is nice dark. but when I use it for photo copying (put the page in scan bed and press start copy button) then the printed ink is too much dim (even after selecting darkest setting ). How to correct this? -- Parnaval (talk) 06:49, 18 September 2021 (UTC)

Scan to a file, then print the file? --Verbarson (talk) 10:56, 18 September 2021 (UTC)
The copy-quality is independently adjustable: Draft, Text, Mixed, Film photo, and Picture. In all probability the preset on your machine is the lowest quality option? -- (talk) 21:46, 18 September 2021 (UTC)
As is – unfortunately – very common in user manuals, this merely tells you that some functionality exists, but not how to access it.  --Lambiam 07:34, 19 September 2021 (UTC)
I tried Scanning to pdf file then printing but still same dim quality. Then I changed copy quality from Draft to Text, then quality became much better, almost as I wanted. Thank you all for your responses. But now I am a bit confused. I don't know how to phrase it. But see, printing word doc gave good result and (scan and print) gave bad result. Means some problem in scanner. This was confirmed when scan to file then print was used as still quality was bad. But why did it improve when I changed print quality from Draft to Text? or did the thing I change was scan quality ?? -- Parnaval (talk) 12:10, 20 September 2021 (UTC)
Well, although it is one and the same device and the functions may look-and-feel similar, it's three different things: Printing, the instant copy, and now pure scanning (or scan-to-file). More about the latter is explained on page 73 and following of the same manual which is already linked above. -- (talk) 15:59, 20 September 2021 (UTC)
Has photo copying now also improved, or is it as bad as before?  --Lambiam 22:48, 20 September 2021 (UTC)
Oh yes, yes! I phrased my previous comment badly. I meant photocopying has improved after changing that Draft to text . but before that , I tried Scan to file then print so that was bad. And I did this in Draft mode. Would it had been different if I had selected text mode? -- Parnaval (talk) 05:06, 21 September 2021 (UTC)
I think the most likely is that Draft/Text controls the print mode but not the scanning. You could scan in the same image twice, once in each mode, and compare the sizes of the resulting files. If they are roughly the same, scanning is not affected by the mode. Draft mode then apparently tries to save ink, not bits.  --Lambiam 14:45, 21 September 2021 (UTC)

September 19[edit]

Script problem[edit]

I have two "Script" sections at the bottom of my sidebar screenshot Most likely and extra setting and/or a userscript, but I can not locate the issue. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated. Thanx, - FlightTime (open channel) 00:37, 19 September 2021 (UTC)

On which page does this sidebar occur?  --Lambiam 07:30, 19 September 2021 (UTC)
@Lambiam: I'm pretty sure only on the edit page. - FlightTime (open channel) 18:38, 19 September 2021 (UTC)
Your script User:FlightTime/common.js imports the script User:Ohconfucius/EngvarB. This is the culprit. It is not a new issue; see User talk:Ohconfucius/script § Bug: "Scripts" section on left with shows three times.  --Lambiam 21:52, 19 September 2021 (UTC)
@Lambiam: Thank you very much. - FlightTime (open channel) 16:09, 20 September 2021 (UTC)

September 20[edit]

Reporting twitter content[edit]

A few days ago I (and lots of others, none of whom I've ever heard of) received a strange (and completely unprompted) message in my "notifications". I had never heard of, much less interacted with, the user who sent it, and he appeared to have 0 followers and follow 0 other users when I hovered my mouse over his username. I was sufficiently disturbed by the message that I "reported" it w/in a few minutes, but I think I reported it as "offensive/disrespectful", when I probably should have reported it as "harmful/abusive", as the latter option allows you to summarize the problematic content. After reporting it the tweet vanished w/o a trace-& unfortunately I did not get a screenshot of the tweet & thus cannot remember the user's username, & thus while I would like to re-report the tweet as "harmful/abusive", I don't know how as I don't know the username of the person who sent it.

What should I do? I've tweeted at both Twitter Safety and Twitter Support and heard nothing back

Every now and then I receive messages that appear strange because they were actually meant for someone else with a similar user name. Was the message truly harmful/abusive, as in phishing, or merely strange and out of the blue? In the latter case you may simply ignore it. Otherwise, let it lie till it happens again.  --Lambiam 05:36, 20 September 2021 (UTC)

Potentially harmful/abusive.

Where does the power of content management systems end?[edit]

Content management systems (such as MediaWiki with which Wikipedia is built) are programs that can help to create very powerful websites; Encyclopedias, news portals, government organization websites and large e-commerce websites, but still sometimes they are being heavily customized.

From my experience, such customizations are typically done when there is a need to synchronize a website (by which services and/or products are being sold) with a stock management program and/or an accounting program; the term API often pops up in these contexts.

Perhaps the answer is just "their power ends in content", but maybe not; for example, is a program which is both a content management system and an artificial-intelligent-being which can contact every API, still a CMS? (talk) 12:29, 20 September 2021 (UTC)

"Is an X which is both a Y and a Z still a Y?" I would have to say, yes. To ask a similar question, is the phone in your pocket, that has so many capabilities beyond point-to-point voice communications, still a phone? Perhaps you can refine your question. -- Tom N talk/contrib 00:39, 21 September 2021 (UTC)
I just name what you meant to "Smartphone" (or a pocket computer for that matter). 2001:44C8:4144:C83E:A899:C903:8885:B582 (talk) 04:38, 21 September 2021 (UTC)

September 21[edit]

Do you recognize this algorithm for floating-point addition?[edit]

I came across some code that sums the elements of an array of doubles in the following rather curious way:

double sum = 0.0;
double c = 0.0;
double y, t;

for(i = 0; i < arraylen; i++)
    y = array[i] - c;
    t = sum + y;
    c = (t - sum) - y;
    sum = t;

It's reasonably obvious that someone was trying to circumvent the rather notorious problem that, if the array of data being summed contains values of varying magnitudes, the limited precision of the floating-point sum means that smaller values will tend to lose some/all of their precision, perhaps contributing nothing at all to the final sum.

My question is simply: does anyone recognize this particular technique? Does it have a name? —scs (talk) 21:49, 21 September 2021 (UTC)